The Hurricanes (CITV, 1993-1997)
This is yet another cartoon that was regularly shown on CITV in the mid-90s. The Hurricanes was all about a football team that, according to the memorable theme music, had the champion spirit. They were an elite team that had been assembled from the leading players around the world, which in this era of multinational Premier League teams might not come across as such a glamorous idea 25 years on.
They mostly travelled the world to play in various tournaments and aimed to win every trophy going, whilst getting involved in adventures along the way. The Hurricanes were owned by a 16-year-old girl called Amanda Casey following the disappearance of her dad, and the manager was the no-nonsense dour Scotsman Jock Stone who often had trouble keeping control of all of his star players.
Among the players were the rather eccentric Italian goalkeeper Dino, team captain Cal Casey, and the English Napper. Their main rivals were the Gorgons who usually use dubious tactics to try and win, and their manager was Stavros Garkos. And would you believe that rather conveniently they seemed to be drawn against them in the semi-final of every competition that they played. However, The Hurricanes would always beat them, thanks to lots of goals that were accompanied by some enthusiastic commentary, and these triumphs always pleased their passionate global fanbase.
Probably not too surprisingly, a lot of the stories in the 65 episodes were rather far-fetched, even when compared to Sky One’s similar series Dream Team. And there was also a message at the end of episodes usually delivered by Amanda that explained to viewers how the players dealt with their problems on and off the field by using good gamesmanship instead of cheating.
The Hurricanes did become a success on CITV (although it hasn’t been repeated that much since), there were five series made, and a wide variety of people contributed their voices, although looking back a lot of the names don’t really stand out. There were also some editions released on VHS, although I’m fairly sure that there hasn’t been a DVD release. Also among the merchandise was a computer game for the SNES, but I didn’t have that.
And, in 1994, there was the launch of a fortnightly comic. I’m not sure how long it ran for, but I do remember having some of these, which contained lots more adventures for the team to enjoy. There were also plenty of free gifts given away, including some stickers of various footballers, and also a badge that I still have. There’s no doubt that The Hurricanes were always the team to beat. Even better, you didn’t need a satellite dish to watch any of their matches!